By Jill Fox
Culver’s, the Midwest favorite, known for its cooked-to-order butter burgers and fresh frozen custard, is coming soon.
So, just what is a butter burger?
The Wisconsin specialty burger is named for its lightly-buttered bun, a favorite of first-time restaurant franchisee, Eric Pierce, who will own and operate the only Culver’s in South Florida.
Margate will be the new home of the casual food chain which also has 63 other locations in Florida, with two currently under construction in the Tampa area. South Florida was the last part of the state to open up for franchising, and when they did, Pierce jumped on it.
Having lived in Broward County for the last 12 years, Pierce grew up in Wisconsin, where Culver’s is based.
“If you’re from the Midwest, you knew about Culver’s,” he said, “They’ve been around for 35 years.”
Although he began his career in the corporate sales industry, Pierce said he’d been an entrepreneur for the last half of his working life. About a year and a half ago, he took it upon himself to call Culver’s and ask about opening one in Broward County.
“Florida has been a big growth market for Culver’s franchising, and I could see just driving around the state that they were popping up all over.”
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Pierce has two silent business partners, who are college buddies from home. Even though they are just getting ready to break ground on their first Culver’s, Pierce said, if everything works out, they plan to build three to five more in Broward County over the next ten years, and hopefully, one in Coral Springs.
According to Pierce, corporate only lets franchisees build one restaurant at a time.
“They are meticulous about quality and people; they don’t risk anything in that regard.”
Paul Pitas, director of public relations and communications for Culver’s, said the brand has a strong emphasis on service, hospitality and community involvement, in addition to great food. It’s clear this franchisee agrees. Pierce said the Culver’s family has been buying from the same purveyor for 35 years, and that’s what sets them apart.
Pierce said, “The main thing about Culver’s is that every meal is cooked to order. The fries will be hot. The burgers are fresh — things like that make all the difference.”
Culver’s will be located at 5510 West Copans Road in Margate.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.